Loyalties are tested in Lord of Midnight by Jo Beverley (Topaz, $5.99, 0451408012). Claire of Summerbourne inherited the rash stubbornness of her father. So when Sir Renald de Lisle arrives to take ownership of Summerbourne after her father's death, Claire tries every gambit to avoid marrying him. But loyalty to her family overrides her resistance. Then Claire learns that the reason the king gave Summerbourne to Sir Renald was because Renald wielded the death sword in combat with her father. The death of a father, marriage to the man responsible could anything be worse? The stakes grow even higher when Claire realizes she's falling in love with the very man she should hate most in the world. Beverley's lusty tale ranges from the pig barns of Summerbourne to the king's court with equal aplomb, and the sharp wit and enthralling characters make this a bawdy, bodacious good read.

Reviewed by Sandy Huseby.

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